"Serving on the YAC for four years, I was challenged to develop a skillset that has become an integral part of my work as a professional." - Annie McGinnity
I joined the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s Youth In Service Fund (YISF) and Youth Advisory Council (YAC),now Lead2Change, Inc., in it’s inaugural year. I was a freshman in high school and loved the diversity represented on our council and having the opportunity to learn about philanthropy while being challenged to look at youth service through a different lens. Serving on the YAC for four years, I was challenged to develop a skillset that has become an integral part of my work as a professional. The YAC promoted effective communication, organization, and the ability to ask the right questions. It brought together young people from diverse backgrounds, promoted unity and celebrated the unique talents we each brought to the table. Most importantly, the YAC empowered me and my fellow council members to be leaders. We learned by being active participants in the grant-making process, held each other and our grant seekers accountable, and were often nudged outside of our comfort zones which is where the most personal and professional growth takes place.
I went on to college and became a special education teacher initially, and then eventually moved into a career in recreation. I currently serve as the Coordinator of City-Wide programs for the MPS Department of Recreation and Community Services. I oversee the implementation of ten recreational program areas and not a day goes by that I don’t utilize the skills that the YAC helped me develop. My role includes things like the facilitation of meetings, staff and program development, collaborating with my colleagues, interacting with staff and patrons, and budgeting. While I didn’t know it at the time, the YAC provided me with a foundation of skills necessary for this line of work and I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to engage in such a rich experience as a young person.